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You may have heard about the vape (“e-cigarette”) bans being implemented across Australia. The federal government’s approach to address the increased prevalence of vaping (particularly among young Australians) involves stricter legislation, enforcement, education, and support.

The laws around e-cigarettes can be confusing, so here we’ll explain some of the main points of what the new reforms involve.

What are the latest updates, and what’s changing?
As of January 1st 2024, the first stage of Australia’s vaping reforms were implemented. This involved:
• A total ban on the importation of disposable vapes, regardless of nicotine content or claims of therapeutic use.
• A new Special Access Scheme pathway to facilitate legitimate access to therapeutic vapes, which enables doctors and nurses to prescribe vapes as a smoking cessation strategy without applying to the TGA for approval.
• The use of e-cigarettes is banned in all areas where smoking is banned.

The second stage of vaping reforms will come into effect on March 1st 2024, and involves:
• A ban on the importation of all vapes for anyone without an import licence and permit.
• Changes to quality requirements for therapeutic vapes, with flavours limited to mint, menthol, and tobacco.
• Permission for travellers to bring a limited quantity of therapeutic vapes into the country.

Disposable vapes have been banned regardless of nicotine content or claims of therapeutic use.

In summary:
• All disposable vapes became illegal on 1st Jan 2024.
• Reusable vapes for therapeutic use may be accessed legally under the TG Act if prescribed by a doctor or nurse practitioner for smoking cessation purposes, or for managing a nicotine dependence.

An important reminder: As with traditional cigarettes, it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes or e-liquids (both flavour only and those containing nicotine) to a person under 18 years of age. This includes selling to friends or via social media.

We do not yet know exactly how these policy measures will impact young people, so it is crucial to equip them with the essential knowledge and skills for making positive choices for their health and wellbeing by providing them with evidence-based education.

Read more about the reforms on the TGA website here.



[1] Jongenelis MI. Challenges and opportunities associated with e-cigarettes in Australia: A qualitative study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2023; 47(1). Available from:


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